Some people call them goals. Some people call them dreams. I have always called it waiting. I waited to finish school. I waited to live in the same state as David. I waited to move back to the mountains. I am waiting for David to finish school. I am waiting until I feel like I will not totally botch the job of raising another, tiny human soul. I am still waiting until there is no waiting anymore…
I have spent my whole life looking ahead to the next corner, thinking that yes… after that corner… then I will… what? Travel? Relax? Live? Be?
Now that “some day” is upon me, I’m not sure what I was even waiting for. Life is not slower. Life is not less busy. I am grown up and am only just now realizing that commitments tend to expand to fill my life in the same way that clutter expands to fill my closets. Because of who I am, I think I just constantly added “corners” or accomplishments to the list, because they made me feel comfortable. I have always been most at ease when I had a plan.
But I think that it is time to blow the plan. Burn the list. Better yet, time to make a different list. One with places and people and food and experiences. Reykjavik, Salt Lake City, family, rock climbing, hiking a 14er.
The plans for this chocolate orange cake were inspired by Molly Yeh’s pistachio cake last year. That pistachio mascarpone filling??? Heaven-sent. I have been wanting to test this out for months, but I have been waiting . . . and waiting . . . until there was an occasion. Or until I have time.
So here is to burning the list. I made this chocolate orange cake with no purpose, when I did not have time, just because. And it was fabulous.
45 minPrep Time
55 minCook Time
1 hr, 40 Total Time
- 2 oranges
- 1 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 6 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups + 2 Tablespoons ground sugar (see **Notes)
- 2 cups canola oil
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
- 4 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 2/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons whole milk
- 1/2 cup ground pistachios (see *notes)
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate (you can swap for milk chocolate if you want it sweeter)
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- Pierce the two oranges with half a wooden skewer and drop into boiling water. Boil for 30 minutes. Remove the oranges with tongs and remove the skewers. Blend the entire oranges in a food processor until pulpy liquid. Remove any seeds and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- While oranges are boiling, use a food processor or a knife to chop/crush pistachios until you have at least 3/4 cup pistachios ground into a chunky powder.
- Melt 1 1/4 cups chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute on 50% power and stir well, heating for additional time if needed. Set aside.
- Grease 2 9-inch cake pans with softened butter. Flour the cake pans. (Dump a few tablespoons of flour in and turn the pan round and round, til it is coated.)
- Sift together cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs, ground sugar (**see notes), and oil.
- Mix in processed oranges. Slowly add and stir in melted chocolate.
- Add cocoa, flour, and baking powder and mix on medium-high speed for 2 minutes.
- You can divide the batter into either two or three 9-inch cake pans. (If you do two, you will have thicker cake layers.) Fill the cake pans between half-way and two thirds full. Bake cakes for 50-60 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Check the cakes at 40 minutes--if they are starting to brown too quickly on top, loosely cover the cakes with tin foil.
- Let cakes cool for ten minutes in the pans. Then turn out onto cooling rack and allow to cool completely.
- To make filling, mix mascarpone, butter, sugar, milk, and 1/2 cup ground pistachios until well mixed. Spread over first cake and top with second cake.
- Place 12 oz chocolate in a glass measuring cup or bowl. Heat cream over stove or in microwave until just about to boil. Pour over the chocolate and let sit for two minutes. Stir chocolate and cream until smooth. Pour over cake and swirl to edges, until it just dribbles over.
- Top cake with crushed pistachio.
- The cake can be left in a cake dish on the counter-top for 3-4 days.
*You'll need about 8 oz unsalted pistachios, total. **For the cake, place white granulated sugar in a food processor and pulse 10ish seconds. You want a finer sugar, but you don't want powdered sugar. Don't overthink it--the cake will taste great, regardless.